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Chris Christie says he would send US troops to Gaza and blasts DeSantis for dodging issue

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at the fourth GOP debate on Dec. 6, 2023.

Former New Jersey governor Chris Christie said if he became president he would "absolutely" send U.S. troops into Gaza to rescue American hostages taken by Hamas.

"If they had a plan which showed me that we could get them out safely, you’re damn right I’d send the American army in there to get our people home and get them home now," Christie said Wednesday night at the fourth GOP primary debate in Alabama.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was the first candidate asked how far he would go to release the hostages, and he appeared to avoid making a direct reply, telling moderators Elizabeth Vargas, former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly and Eliana Johnson of the Washington Free Beacon that he would not let Americans troops be sitting ducks, before segueing into his Israel policy.

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Christie pounced on DeSantis for not answering the question directly.

"This is the problem with the first three debates. Ron gets asked a question, and he hasn't answered. Your question was very specific," Christie said. "When you're president of the United States, you're not gonna have a choice whether to answer that question or not."

Tech Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy jumped into the fray, saying that, as president, he would tell Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to "smoke the terrorists on your southern border."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Chris Christie says he would send troops to Gaza, criticizes DeSantis